There's a story that perpetually circulates regarding the relationship between Sony and Nintendo and how the first PSX came about. The story usually talks about the fallout between Nintendo and Sony, but one thing that's oftentimes left out is the console that was actually produced between the two electronic giants.
Ars Technica did a write-up on the whole ordeal, explaining how 200 prototype consoles of the 'Play Station' device were made between Sony and Nintendo; but they never went beyond prototyping because at the eleventh hour Nintendo bailed out of the partnership and signed a deal with Philips instead, which eventually led to the Philips CD-i games that featured some Nintendo properties.
Sony, alternatively, went on to use the tech to develop, produce and market the Sony PlayStation.
Recently, however, one of those 200 prototype consoles has apparently surfaced and according to Metro.co.uk, the word is that the recent images that have popped up of the Sony/Nintendo hybrid console was originally in the possession of former Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Olafur Olafsson.
The prototype is featured in a series of images over on imgur, where we get to see that the top part of the device features a cartridge slot for SNES cartridge games and the bottom half features a slot for Sony's CD-ROM games. It was actually Sony's CD-ROM technology that scared off Nintendo from finalizing the deal because they felt Sony would have had way too much control with the CD technology. Well, Sony certainly has a lot of control now.
The authenticity of the device has been called into question, but video footage has surfaced of the individual who managed to get his hands on the device after his friend's father (supposedly Olafsson) tossed it out.
The current owner of the supposed prototype took part in discussions over on the Assembler Games forum where some individuals who claimed to have worked for some companies offered some insight into what was being developed for the hybrid prototype. A lot of discussion centers around selling the device and how much it might be worth.
For many gamers this is a classic piece of gaming history and most people will want this preserved as much as possible because it represents a massive turning point in the console wars where Sony was burned bad enough by Nintendo that they actually entered the console war themselves and have gone on to dominate it for three out of the four generations that they've participated in.
A lot of gamers are wondering if Nintendo regrets tanking the relationship they had with Sony, but this is working on the assumption that this device would have had high enough quality games to guarantee that it would have sold like hot cakes. History tells us that nothing is guaranteed as devices like the 3DO, SegaCD and CD-i didn't do so great. Whether or not this Sony/Nintendo cartridge/CD-ROM hybrid would have gone on to dominate the market or flop hard is something gamers will likely debate over until the end of time.